by Kristina Cerise, @DefineMother
All my fellow Seattleites have 12th man fever. But all the hype can’t distract me from the fact that watching football involves a lot of cheering over the relatively small accomplishments of grown men. They run forward three feet. Hooray! They knock the other grown-ups down. Hooray! They throw and catch a ball. Standing ovation!
I can’t think of a female equivalent. I’ve never heard anyone applaud a lady walking on cobblestones in heels. Eleven ankle-busting cracks averted! I’ve never seen a standing ovation for a woman who makes it through the grocery store with kids in tow. Three out of 10 items on list procured! Watching football has taught me that incremental gains deserve recognition. Moms should be cheered for on-time school arrivals, scrapes bandaged and tears dried. If scantily clad men with feather dusters want to cheer along, all the better.
The Voice on the Other End
By Melissa Stephenson
My ex-husband lives in another state and visits the kids a few times a year. He creates and often narrates commercials for a major car company. Our oldest is eight-years-old and a football fan. We don’t have television at home, so I usually get us invited to a Superbowl party. Though our son won’t say it, I know he looks most forward to hearing his dad’s voice on television during the game. Each year I’m overcome with the urge to control and explain what I consider a bittersweet moment for him, but I take a deep breath and stay out of it. Because he loves hearing the same voice that reads him bedtime stories sail over the airwaves. His smile lights up wide and proud as the state of Montana, comforted by the knowledge that the father he sees so rarely sits states away, watching and cheering in unison.
Helping Each Other
by Julie Buckley
1. Anyone on the team can recover a fumble. Although I am the primary caretaker in our household, I have learned that anyone in the family can help to turn a situation around. Whether it’s an older sibling helping a younger one with a school problem or my husband averting a meltdown by providing a change of scenery, I can call upon others in the family to assist when needed.
2. Know when to punt and know when to go for it. Sometimes it is better to cut your losses and leave that birthday party, that grocery store trip, or that family obligation early. But sometimes it is really important to be there, and so you take your chances with a tired or irritable kid, and those times it tends to work out okay.
3. Occasionally, the play needs a review. We can all benefit from learning how to do better.